Tuesday, September 13, 2011

French fries ruined my weekend

A friend of mine told me that while on a weekend trip she apparently ate too many French fries and subsequently regained the weight she loss from the previous week.

I thought, you’re kidding me. French fries are that dangerous.  And then the more I thought about it, I figured yes, they are.  It’s a white potato, which has almost no nutritional value, it’s a starch that turns to sugar and it’s deep fried.

That’s a bad combination when you think about it.

I generally steer away from white potatoes because of their lack of nutrition.  And from the sounds of what happened to my friend, my decision is definitely a good one.

For those of you who love potatoes, I would like you to consider a few things. 

Craving foods like starches and soft textured products (French fries, pasta) is sometimes an indicator that you’ve waited too long to eat and therefore you want foods that satisfy immediately without providing nutrition.

Those foods are commonly referred to as simple carbs.  And in the American diet, we live off of them.  Many studies link the over consumption of these foods to obesity.  They include pasta, white potatoes, white rice and potato chips. I know potato chips aren’t soft, but they are crunchy and salty, which appeals to our craving taste buds, and they’re made with white potatoes.

I recommend trading in deep fried French fries for baked fries, which you can prepare easily at home.  Like I said, I rarely eat commercial fries, but I do roast potatoes in my own oven from time-to-time.  Simply cut potatoes (I like golden Yukon) into wedges or cubes, place on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with sea salt, olive oil and any other herbs or spices that suit your taste buds.  Some of my favorites are rosemary and paprika.

And to kick it up a nutritional notch, forego the white potato for a sweet potato.  Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamins A, E and fiber.  Because of their versatility, they can be prepared savory and sweet. Not to mention, they taste great and children love them.

In this week’s reading resources, I’ve included two sweet potato recipes from my friend Judy McPherson Judy is a fabulous cook and organic farmer.   I’ve eaten a number of her home-baked specialties and she never disappoints.

And for you NC residents, you couldn’t have chosen a better place to reside.  NC produces about 45 percent of the country’s sweet potato supply. That means they are affordable and plentiful during the fall months. The sweet potato can last for months when stored in a cool, dark, dry place (not in the refrigerator).

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